Published Date Written by Jim Lewis
Middletown powwow returns after a year’s hiatus
The Swatara Creek Powwow, a Middletown celebration of Native American culture and spirituality cancelled last year because of an organizational snafu with the borough and the illness of its master of ceremonies, returns to the Historic Ferry House grounds on Saturday, May 4 and Sunday, May 5.
Organizer Paul Bear, owner of the Turquoise Bear Trading Post on South Union Street, said he revived the powwow because customers at his shop, where he sells Native American goods, urged him to bring it back.
Though past powwows drew crowds of local residents, “I didn’t think it was on their radar,’’ said Bear.
“The community made it quite clear to me in my store that they missed it,’’ he said.
Bear has enlisted help in organizing the event – Deborah Bigelow, of Native American descent, who moved to Middletown in recent years , and a new master of ceremonies who knows how to run a powwow, a Native American man who had presented a tomahawk throwing target at previous events. “It’s a very skilled job,’’ Bear said of the master of ceremonies job.
Businesses have been enlisted to sponsor the event for the first time, said Bear.
The powwow, which will be Middletown’s seventh, will feature food and vendors of Native American goods, music and dancing. “It’s like a Native American church -ype thing,’’ is how Bear describes it.